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16 April 2019

“Computer-implemented inventions in Medtech with focus on value of patents for SMEs”, 9 April 2019, Lund, Sweden

The EPO and the Swedish Patent and
Registration Office (PRV) jointly hosted the first in a series of events on computer-implemented
inventions in medical technology last week in Lund, Sweden.
The conference,
which focused on the importance of patents for small and mid-sized companies, was
attended by participants and speakers from SMEs and start-ups, industry, universities,
public research institutes, patent offices and regulatory bodies from over a
dozen countries.

Medical technology was the field with
the highest number of European patent applications last year, according to the EPO
Annual Report 2018. As with many other technical fields, the impact of
computer-implemented inventions is being strongly felt in this area. With this
event, the EPO and the PRV aimed to raise awareness among businesses of the
value of patents and IP strategies, and highlight how patent offices can
contribute by providing the necessary knowledge and tools. Similar events are
planned in other cities in Sweden and across Europe.

In their welcome addresses, Peter
Strömbäck, PRV Director General, and Peter Albrecht, EPO Principal Director
Operations, underlined the close co-operation between the EPO and national
patent offices in Europe. They emphasised the role of patent offices in
supporting innovation, with a particular focus on increased digitalisation
across all technical fields.

“This conference highlights the
market value of patents for SMEs and the importance of having an IP strategy,”
said Peter Albrecht.  “We have to stay in a dialogue with all of the
actors of the innovation ecosystem in order to jointly address the challenges
and opportunities of rapid technological change, including the growing importance
of digital technologies in medtech,” Peter Strömbäck said.

At the Lund event, patent examiners
from the EPO and PRV spoke about  which
type of inventions combining computers and medical technology can be protected
by patents , and how. This included discussion of patent information and IP
strategies, as well as post-examination (opposition and appeal) procedures.

Several presenters from business
backgrounds, ranging from investors to CEOs, shared their expertise and discussed
case studies. The conference also delved deeper into legal aspects and looked
at regulation, national litigation, licensing strategies and even how the
drafting of a patent application can affect the future commercialisation of an

Europe-wide IP training for business

The EPO’s European Patent Academy,
which organised today’s Lund event together with the PRV, has run another Europe-wide
training series called “IP for business” since 2017. With a focus on general IP
training for technology-driven SMEs, “IP for business” events will be held this
year in Bucharest, Copenhagen, Oslo, Budapest, Bratislava and Ljubljana. Another
conference for businesses jointly organised by the EPO and the Licensing
Executives Society International on strategies to facilitate the
transfer of patented technologies will take place in Dublin on 4/5 November
2019, and two additional medtech events are scheduled for 2020.

Further information

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